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Sargent 150w solar regulator


Neo
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I have on my caravan installed the Sargent EC600, an 80w solar panel and the 150w Sargent solar panel regulator.  I am off mains for almost a week. My battery has 12.2v and on a sunny day it’s  not being charged until midday which lasts only for a couple of hours.  I would expect that the charging should start as soon as the sun comes out at a 55% battery charge.  Is there a problem with the system?  Thanks!

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Yes, something is wrong.

With the battery so low the solar system should be outputting some current from when the daylight lifts adequately, this time of the year I would expect by 08:00 hours. 

Needs some investigation. Start by talking to Sargent?

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Talk to Sargent, but also invest in a cheap multimeter so you can check the voltage and from the controller.  I could be nothing more than a loose connection.  FWIW my 150 wand 120w panels are putting  3.5 amps into the battery now ( 8 15am).  

 

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If you possess and are “au fait” with using a basic multi meter you can do some tests to give pointers to where things are wrong.

Set to measure 20 VDC, without disconnecting anything check voltage from the panel across the controller's panel positive and negative connections. Is it greater than 15 Volts with a reasonably bright “sky”?

If not, disconnect one of these panel to controller connections and repeat measuring the panel's open circuit voltage across the panel's positive to negative wires. Is this at or higher than 20V ?

If these come much below these values, IMO these point at a panel or associated wiring to the controller fault.

Should the panel's output seem okay from test one, then it requires looking at the currents flowing  to and then from the panel to the controller, to be sure. However, from your earlier statement, should the panel be working, it already hints you have a controller defect, though the health of the battery could be the issue.

 

That said, a wet leaf stuck on the panel can decimate the solar system's performance, so a worthwhile initial check.

 

 

Edited by JTQ
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As  the OP stated that they have 2 panels it seems unlikely that they have both failed.  For me this points towards either the controller being faulty or a wiring fault and or as JTQ states the battery.   I would start investigating at the controller simply because it avoids getting on the roof.   After checking all the connections and fuses,   If you are convinced it is the controller it might be possible to buy a cheap generic controller, not something I would normally recommend  from amazon or wherever to see you through the holiday.  I think that you would need a 15A controller although you would probably get away with a 10A one. 

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I was not reading that the OP has dual panels?

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4 minutes ago, JTQ said:

I was not reading that the OP has dual panels?

Sorry my mistake you are of course you are correct!    Although I am sure that you would agree that a rigid solar panel seem to be a reliable pieces of kit.  Semi flexible perhaps less so .  Problems seem to occur with connections and controllers. 

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Semi flexible are more than reliable enough, "a single leaf" stuck to the panels would have decimated output over ten years ago, but not the case these days.  My boat semi flex panels (2x150W) are regularly covered in gull poo covering a much bigger area than a leaf, and I rarely see much of a reduction.  You should also see charging happening as soon as you get to proper daylight - you don't need sunlight, light is enough

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